Earlier this week I woke up after a rough night sleep. I was coughing for most of the night which left me concerned. We’re now in Coronavirus stage 4 isolation in Melbourne, Australia. I can feel the fear rising up in people again and it’s beginning to feel like everyone is on high alert.
Back in July when we had our first lockdown, I had my Covid-19 test and isolation experience. I’m glad I had it as it gave me a glimpse of what it’s like. I woke up one morning after a night of coughing. My throat was dry and sore so I called and got a phone appointment with my doctor. 15 minutes later I was at the clinic, picked up my slip and off I went to the drive through testing centre in Hoppers Crossing, Melbourne.
Apart from a 30 minute wait in the car, it was all fairly seamless. I drove into the car park, was met by a nice man who explained what was about to happen. He swabbed my mouth and stuck the thing up my nose and told me to isolate myself until I received the results.
When I think about the ease and comfort of being able to be tested immediately, I feel very fortunate. It cost me nothing, there was very little waiting time and I’ll get my results within a week. How lucky am I?
Ohhhh….. I felt like a leper. It’s awful. Getting tested is one thing but having to isolate myself from my husband and kids for five days was challenging. It’s not a huge ordeal as I have two living rooms, one of which houses my office and art studio and a large comfortable bedroom with an ensuite. It hasn’t been too disruptive. I was just sad hearing the joyful sounds of my husband and children at the dinner table down below whilst I ate my dinner on my own, in my lovely second living room.
I felt a bit lonely but I also enjoyed the space. It’s nice to have a legitimate reason for some quiet time. They didn’t let me in the kitchen or living room downstairs so there wasn’t any housework either. Yippee!
I didn’t have any other symptoms. The cough only occurred overnight. I think it may have had more to do with the heater remaining on all night as it was a freezing cold as I recall. I’m thinking it may have been the dry air that irritated my throat.
Was I hasty? I don’t think so. If we’re able to be seen so easily and without any barriers to entry, then I think we should take advantage of it, approach any symptoms with caution and keep each other safe.
As I went through this I realised I had nothing to complain about. I’m healthy, alive and I live in a home that is large, beautiful and comfortable. Covid-19 has not disrupted my life in any major way. I’ve worked from home for 25 years so that hasn’t changed. I’ve had to adapt some things with my company The Room Xchange to suit the new circumstances we live in, but nothing too major. My husband’s business is also operated from home. Our two kids were able to come back home until the worst is over so they’re okay. Thankfully, we have a home with the space to share it with them.
We live in a very lucky country. The government is taking care of us the best way they can in such awful and unprecedented circumstances. Could they do better? Certainly, but they kicked in pretty quickly and made sure that many (but not all) were okay.
So, as lonely as I felt, I wasn’t alone and I was safe and cared for.
I got my results on day 5 and I was all clear. I’m very grateful and reminded of how lucky i am. Perhaps that’s something we can take away from Covid-19. The opportunity to stop, be grateful for what we have and to pay attention to what’s really important – each other.